On Thursday, February 12, the Maryland Economic Development and Business Climate Commission, also known as the Augustine Commission, announced that they will be releasing thirty-two recommendations for how to make the State more friendly to business. The Chairman of the Commission, Norm Augustine, retired Lockheed Martin Corporation chief executive officer, presented the executive summary, along with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House of Delegates Speaker Michael E. Busch.
The Maryland Chamber presented to the Commission a number of times, and Chairman Augustine met with the Chamber’s Competitiveness Coalition to give input for the work of the Commission. The Chamber also submitted the Foundation for the Future recommendations which were derived from the work of the Competitiveness Coalition and stakeholder input. Many of those recommendations are addressed in the report including fostering entrepreneurship, expanding apprenticeship programs, fostering an open-for-business attitude in state employees, and creating a sales team for the state within DBED.
Follow this link to the full Report of the Maryland Economic Development and Business Climate Commission.
The Speaker and President introduced five pieces of legislation on behalf of the Augustine Commission for the 2015 Session. These bills include:
1. Reorganizing DBED, TEDCO and the economic development programs between the agencies, including the creation of Secretary of Commerce position and empowering a newly designed Maryland Economic Development Commission;
2. Creation of a new process for the legislative regulatory committee to determine the impact of regulations on businesses, which will include a private sector advisory group;
3. Creation of a task force to improve faculty involvement in technology transfer activities at higher education institutions;
4. Creation of a new customer service training program for state employees
5. Creation of a new apprenticeship program.
The Chamber is very supportive of these concepts and will be active in advancing them this Session.
The Presiding Officers have asked the Commission to continue to meet to review the business-related tax structure in Maryland.The Maryland Chamber will continue to work with this Commission to address the concerns of our members and advocate for further steps to make Maryland more competitive for attracting and retaining jobs.